IS IT TIME TO FINALLY BRING AN END
TO THE ‘GLOBAL FILIBUSTER’?
Much is being made about the so-called “nuclear option” that has been taken by the members of the Democratic Party in the United States Senate, who last week abruptly changed the rules of debate for the first time in many generations in that lofty institution, removing the ability of rival members of the Republican party to block certain appointments placed before the Senate by the White House for confirmation.
Previously, members of the minority party in the Senate could slow down, or completely hold up, an up-or-down vote on a nominee for appointment (to a judgeship, for instance, or a high level government position) sent over by the President — which affirmative vote is necessary for the appointments to go through and become official, because of the advise and consent function of the Senate that it built into the U.S. political system.
Under the long-standing rules under which the Senate operated until late last week, the party of the minority could filibuster any nomination, extending debate interminably and thus effectively blocking any action, any forward movement whatsoever, on the appointment, because the old rules called for a 60-vote margin to end a filibuster, and the party in majority of a 100-seat chamber rarely could muster such a “super majority.”
Last week, the Democrats — having the majority votes to do so — voted to change the rules, making a simple majority, rather than the so-called “super majority,” all that is necessary to end a filibuster. This effectively prohibits the minority party from slowing down or blocking any Presidential appointment that the majority party supports.
The lengthy description of those political events was necessary to create a backdrop to the discussion of today’s topic: Is it time to end the worldwide ‘filibuster’ blocking any action on global warming? Or on obscene income maldistribution? Or any action that could change the fact that 650 children die every hour in our world of starvation?
How about the fact that millions of people continue to raise barrier after barrier to people who love other enjoying all the legal and societal benefits of marriage because they are of the same gender? What is that all about? God’s will?
How about the fact that 2.5 billion people — one in three people in the world — do not have a toilet or access to sustainable sanitation? Is that also God’s will? Or is it because humanity does not have a will of its own….?
(Frances Cha reports for CNN that diarrheal diseases are the second most common cause of death in young children in developing countries, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Cha’s report says that “in many countries girls stay home during menstruation days because of the absence of a safe place to change and clean themselves, and many drop out altogether.”)
Have we had enough yet? We haven’t even listed one-tenth of the problems facing the world today — problems which should have been solved dozens, if not hundreds, of years ago by any truly advanced civilization. Is it time for us to civilize civilization?
What would that take, do you think….?
We can’t even end hunger in the world, we can’t even end killing. Can we find a way to end the “global filibuster” that keeps us talking, talking, talking about ending the violence in Syria or the oppression of gays in the world or the build-up of nuclear power by many nations or the utter political stalemate and impotence in Washington D.C., or…or….
Must there be nothing but talk, talk, talk, and no action?
Speaking of sanitary facilities, according to the World Health Organization, open areas are the only toilet option for an estimated 625 million people in India. CNN reported in September of 2012 on a government census showing that nearly half of India’s households do not have a toilet, but more people own a mobile phone.
Many people couldn’t build a toilet even if they wanted to because there are no sewage drainage lines in their area. Out of 7,935 towns in India, only 162 have sewage treatment plants, the 2012 CNN report said.
Today even a casual observer can see that not one of the systems, institutions and devices that our species has put into place to create a better life for all is functioning in a way that generates this outcome.
Our political systems clearly are not working. Our economic systems clearly are not working. Our ecological systems clearly are not working. Our health care systems clearly are not working. Our educational systems clearly are not working. Our social systems clearly are not working. Our spiritual systems clearly are not working.
Nothing that we have created is producing the outcomes that were intended. It is worse than that. They are actually producing exactly the opposite.
Our political systems are creating nothing but disagreement and disarray. Our economic systems are actually increasing poverty. Our ecological systems are generating environmental degradation. Our educational systems are failing to educate enough people in enough places to bring our species anywhere near the reaching of its full potential. Our health care systems are doing little to eliminate inequality of access to modern medicines and health care services. Our social systems are known to encourage disparity, prejudice, and injustice. And, perhaps most dysfunctional of all, our spiritual systems are producing intolerance, righteousness, anger, hatred, and violence.
What gives here? What’s going on with the human race that it cannot see even as it looks at itself? Where is humanity’s blind spot?
Might it be time to ask: “Is there be something we don’t fully understand here, the understanding of which would change everything?”
Why is nobody in high positions, positions of authority in governments, religions, and even in business and industry, even asking this question, much less answering it?
What will it take for you to ask it? Will you become part of the Evolution Revolution? Can we have a meaningful discussion — a discussion leading to action — about all this? Not more talking that delays action by focusing on everything else but the real problem, but discussion that produces action by highlighting and publicizing and placing before our world leaders the real problem? If your answer is yes, click here.